Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Israel to send 150 illegals back to Sudan: report

13 DECEMBER 2010 - 22H03

AFP - Israel on Monday was to deport 150 Sudanese who entered the country illegally in search of work, the private Channel Two television station reported.

It said they would leave aboard a chartered aircraft for a third country before then being repatriated, without specifying the transit destination.

The illegal immigrants, who had agreed to leave voluntarily, would be given "a small sum of money to start a new life in their home country," the broadcaster reported.

It said the repatriation was being carried out by the foreign and interior ministries "with the support of the United Nations."

On November 38, the Israeli government approved the creation of a detention centre near its southern border with Egypt to house thousands of illegal immigrants from Africa seeking work in the Jewish state.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office said in a statement the cabinet endorsed the plan for the camp as a matter of necessity, as economic migrants were arriving at an average rate of more than 1,200 each month.

"This wave is growing and it threatens the jobs of Israelis. It is changing the face of the state and we have to stop it," Netanyahu said before a weekly cabinet meeting.

Israel has also begun constructing a 250-kilometre (155-mile) fence along the Egyptian border aimed at stopping the influx of migrants.

The barrier is expected to cost 365 million dollars and will incorporate unspecified technological measures.

The Israel-Egypt border has become a major transit route for economic migrants and asylum-seekers, many from Sudan and Eritrea.

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